SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: William Brown
SUSE Hack Week is a week-long sprint permitting developers time off from their day jobs to work on something entirely of their own design or wishes. This week we will be showcasing some of the amazing projects coming out of SUSE Hack Week and the brilliant minds behind them. Stay tuned all week long for more features.
Today we’d like to introduce you to William Brown, Senior Software Engineer at SUSE
Give me a few details about yourself, your background, your role at SUSE, any interesting facts?
My name is William Brown, I’m a senior software engineer at SUSE. I’m from Brisbane Australia, and have been a software engineer for 5 years. Previously I was a system administrator at a major Australian university for 7 years. I am a photographer and also participate in judo and pole dance in my free time.
What is your SUSE Hack Week project and how is it beneficial?
I’m working on the Kanidm project – a modern identity management system written in rust. This project aims to create an open source alternative to cloud-identity services, that has best practice modern features, respects human identities and rights, but also enables systems and technology that already exist to continue to authenticate securely.
What do you enjoy most about Hack Week?
Having the time and focus to work on things outside of my normal job role. Being in Australia means I miss many of the collaboration chances from the major offices, but it’s interesting to watch at a distance!
What is the most difficult or most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Kanidm is probably my most interesting project – it’s exciting as it has involved writing concurrent data structures, a database (including query optimiser!), a webauthn library for Rust, and much more. IDM is a great space, as you have an amazing mix of human interaction and design, high performance, low level concurrency and system administration that has to all come together to make a great project.
How do you dare to be different? Or what does it mean to you?
It means being willing to make changes, to learn from mistakes and other sources, to rethink actions, and to adapt. The key is to put this into practice. Often people say these words and platitudes but without the actions to make it substantial. I want to work on projects that can enable, improve, learn and adapt, rather than always having excuses or vapour. For me that’s why I’m working on Kanidm, because I want open source IDM to be pushed forward in a way that it has not been in many years.
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